Climate change is real and complacency is dangerous

Clinton is the only candidate to combat this 

By Clay Parlette

A look at the official GOP platform reveals an elegant collection of positions, weaved with patriotic bits of American exceptionalism and statistically derived logic that appears to make the Republican way of thinking the “obvious” way of thinking. Why does the party oppose Obamacare? Because their statistics show an increase in rates and longer lines at the doctor’s office. Why do Republicans oppose the rights of LGBTQ Americans to adopt and start families? Because their studies show that children somehow “do better” with a married mom and dad. Why does Trump support the deregulation of all energy production? Because his models suggest that by doing so, we will add at least half a million jobs per year. I won’t waste my time poking holes in these arguments, even if I believe them to be flawed. The real purpose of the above examples is to showcase the importance placed on historical, numerical, and scientifically supported arguments for the GOP’s official platform. After all, an argument is only valid when it cites actual evidence—something the Republicans seem to acknowledge. Every argument that is, except for climate change.

Open any textbook about environmental science and read any reputable science website—the consensus is clear in the scientific community that climate change is real and happening as we speak. A simple dismissal of this fact also dismisses the logic of any other Republican argument, like those mentioned above, that purport to use evidence and numbers to validate certain beliefs. If for no other reason, the intelligent thing to do in this election is to vote for the party that accepts the science as reality, rather than ignoring it like baby babble.

This issue aside, extremism can go many directions. For liberals, this could mean the immediate closure of all coal plants, pipelines and oil refineries, and the immediate construction of alternative fuel sites (ie: Bernie Sanders’ approach). For conservatives, this could mean the elimination of the EPA, the rejection of alternative fuels and the expansion of fossil fuel usage (ie: Ted Cruz’s approach). The fact is, no form of extremism is good for our country, and is certainly not practical either.

There’s no denying that fossil fuels have done a lot of good for the world; they have ignited prosperity in countries like the United States, they have brought energy sustenance to the poorer parts of the world and they have transformed our world of the internet, “things” and convenience that we know and love today. But too much of a good thing often requires a reexamination of how we got here, and how we continue to sustain this lifestyle. This means we must listen to the science when it suggests that an overabundance of fossil fuels is killing our planet.

While this fact is alarming, it’s not something that can be changed overnight, as liberals would wish, but it’s also not something we should ignore, as conservatives would wish. Instead it requires a reasonable yet aggressive transition to cleaner energy sources to be implemented. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who displays an understanding for this complex issue.

Her plan calls for significant investment in domestic alternative energy infrastructure, which lays an excellent groundwork for answering our planet’s call for help, while also creating new energy jobs. Clinton also embraces natural gas and nuclear energy as cleaner energy forms to help bridge the transition from dirty to clean. This is important because these are sources that are already plentiful and accessible for use.

Perhaps the best part of Clinton’s strategy is her proposal to fund the large-scale revitalization and repurposing of America’s coal communities, so that they can emerge as key players in the future of alternative energy while maintaining their historic pride in energy productivity. This is the kind of investment that is needed not only in a world of increasing environmental concerns, but also to remain competitive in the world energy market.

Sure, it’s going to cost money to modernize our energy scene, and yes, we might have at least one hundred more years of coal in the ground, but refusing to acknowledge that there’s a problem is just as wonky as remaining in your La-Z-Boy as a tornado approaches just because you have a lot of stuff right where you are.

When it’s life and death, there’s only one reasonable choice, and that choice this year is Hillary Clinton.

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